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Stories by Mark Sauer

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Roundtable: Dam Trouble, Labor Union Difficulties, Carlsbad's Power Plans

Feb. 17, 2017
By Mark Sauer, Pat Finn

Was the near-disaster in Oroville a result of negligence? Some express concern about Sweetwater Dam here. Local labor leader Mickey Kasparian is sued for harassment and retaliation. Is Carlsbad getting a power plant that's unnecessary and obsolete?

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Roundtable: SANDAG's New Math; Mexican Pride; Nearby Nuclear Waste

Feb. 10, 2017
By Mark Sauer, Pat Finn

San Diego Association of Governments staff kept quiet about their faulty revenue projections. Many Tijuana residents who routinely cross the border to spend money are staying home. And Edison is now burying nuclear waste from San Onofre, in spite of efforts to stop it.

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Roundtable: San Diegans Cope With Trump Order; Veterans Cope With Wait Times

Feb. 3, 2017
By Mark Sauer, Pat Finn

President Donald Trump's executive order on immigration was received with shock, awe and general chaos. And it turns out that veterans are still waiting a long time for health care.

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Roundtable Special Edition: San Diego's Homeless Crisis

Jan. 27, 2017
By Mark Sauer, Pat Finn

The number of homeless persons living on the streets has been growing for several months. Why? And where is the political will to put a stop to the misery?

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Roundtable: Dumanis, Mexico Gas Protests, Storm Water, Affordable Housing

Jan. 20, 2017
By Mark Sauer, Pat Finn

It's a big day, and there are big local issues, too, including District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis' big decision, continuing (and big) gas protests in Mexico, the big mess of storm water rules and the big dearth of affordable housing.

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Roundtable: The Chargers Are Dead To San Diego

Jan. 13, 2017
By Mark Sauer, Pat Finn

The San Diego Chargers skipped town, took a powder, left us in the lurch. So we have to find out how to be a big city without an NFL team and figure out what to do with all that Mission Valley property.

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Roundtable: Health Care in California, Poway Says No, Charter Schools On The Rise

Jan. 6, 2017
By Mark Sauer, Pat Finn

About 17 million Californians receive some benefits from Obamacare. What happens if it goes away? The City of Poway says no to 22 affordable homes for vets. Trump's choice to head Education is a fierce advocate for charter schools.

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Roundtable: California Vs. Donald Trump

Dec. 29, 2016
By Mark Sauer, Pat Finn

California, a state that voted overwhelmingly for Hillary Clinton, is getting ready for a fight — or several fights — against the Trump administration over climate, marijuana, immigration and health care.

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Roundtable: 2016 Was Quite A Year In San Diego

Dec. 23, 2016
By Mark Sauer, Pat Finn

Election squeakers in the 49th and 3rd Districts. Victory for pot, defeat for the Chargers. Desperation for the homeless, frustration for renters and home buyers. Fear for migrants without papers. Worry for climate scientists.

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Roundtable: New City Council Prez; (Un)Affordable Housing Plan; Chollas Creek May Stay Polluted

Dec. 16, 2016
By Mark Sauer, Pat Finn

Myrtle Cole will lead the San Diego City Council. The city of San Diego's plan to expedite affordable housing often fast-tracked mansions. Zinc, copper, pesticides and bacteria flow from Chollas Creek to the bay, possibly forever.

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Roundtable: Taking A Stand On Immigration, Mattis As Defense Secretary, Effects Of Legal Pot

Dec. 9, 2016
By Mark Sauer, Neiko Will, Pat Finn

Democrats at the state capitol launch an offensive on the proposed immigration policies of President-elect Donald Trump. Will retired Gen. James Mattis be a good fit for Secretary of Defense? And the recent legalization of recreational marijuana in the state is already having effect on criminal justice in San Diego.

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Ret. Marine Major General Details Years In Washington, Trump's Transition

Dec. 1, 2016
By Mark Sauer, Michael Lipkin

Punaro, a former Hillary Clinton supporter, is one of many unofficial advisors to work with President-Elect Donald Trump's transition team.

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Roundtable: (Fake) News Wars, Woeful Chargers And Padres, New Moves At The Opera And Symphony

Nov. 25, 2016
By Mark Sauer, Pat Finn

What happens when the news media is widely distrusted and largely ignored? How disgusted is San Diego with its professional sports teams? And what happens when San Diego's opera and symphony try to find new audiences?

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Roundtable: The Trump Effect, Trump U Lawsuit, Plaza De Panama Reboot

Nov. 18, 2016
By Mark Sauer, Pat Finn

The election of Donald Trump promises change and upheaval for California. There's some action on one of the Trump University class-actions. And Balboa Park's going to get a makeover.

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Roundtable: Trump Wins, Chargers Lose: Parsing The Results Of Election 2016

Nov. 11, 2016
By Mark Sauer, Pat Finn

Who could have predicted a President Donald J. Trump? Turns out some people did. Measures C and D lost, predictably, but the size of the win by opponents to Lilac Hills, not so much.

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Roundtable: Update On Local Races, Putting Presidential Race In Perspective And Politics At The Movies

Nov. 4, 2016
By Mark Sauer, Neiko Will

What can an analysis of "Citizen Kane" tell us about the presidential race? And how will history remember the 2016 election? Find out on the Roundtable.

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Roundtable: Breaking Down San Diego Ballot Measures

Oct. 28, 2016
By Mark Sauer, Neiko Will

Election Day is fast approaching. Do you know enough to make an informed decision on the local measures on the ballot?

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Roundtable: Final Presidential Debate, Congressional Races, State Propositions

Oct. 21, 2016
By Mark Sauer, Neiko Will

Presidential candidate Donald Trump continues to flirt with the idea that he won't concede the election, should he lose on Nov. 8. Will there will a Trump Effect on San Diego races? And is California ready to say goodbye to the death penalty...and hello to recreational pot?

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Roundtable: Trump And Women, Gaspar And Roberts, Measure A, Lilac Hills

Oct. 14, 2016
By Mark Sauer, Pat Finn

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump's troubles include sexual assault allegations now filtering into San Diego races. The race for supervisor in District 3 should have been a cakewalk for the incumbent. Measure to increase sales tax has an uphill road. Lilac Hills could bloom, or not.

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Is Water A Battleground In The West?

Oct. 5, 2016
By Mark Sauer, Pat Finn

Author John Fleck says that states and individuals don't fight over water so much as they conserve it and cooperate over how much to use.

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Roundtable: Issa v. Applegate; Unproven Stem Cell Treatments; Barrio Logan & The Downtown Stadium

Sept. 23, 2016
By Mark Sauer, Pat Finn

Darrell Issa's congressional race is closer than he would perhaps like. A local company refers a patient for a costly, unproven stem cell treatment. And Barrio Logan braces for a very large new neighbor.

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Roundtable: Untested Rape Kits, Zoo's Big Bank Account, Opioids In San Diego's Suburbs

Sept. 16, 2016
By Mark Sauer, Pat Finn

The San Diego Police Department has a backlog of some 2,400 untested rape kits. The San Diego Zoo has a huge bank account and a taxpayer subsidy. Suburban cities like Poway and La Mesa have more and more cases of opioid and heroin abuse.

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Roundtable: Soledad Cross, Housing Crisis, Living Wage, Public Bathrooms

Sept. 9, 2016
By Mark Sauer, Pat Finn

The Mt. Soledad cross case is finally over. San Diego's housing crisis is getting worse. San Diego's living wage ordinance is a 10-year success. Downtown public toilets are often not functional.

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Roundtable: San Diego's Pot Tax, Lofty Transit Goals, Preschool Costs

Sept. 2, 2016
By Mark Sauer, Pat Finn

If recreational pot becomes legal, San Diego wants to tax its sales. The city's Climate Action Plan predicts thousands will quit driving to work. And San Diego's school district makes pre-K available to all — for a price.

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Roundtable: Officer-Involved Shooting; Chargers; More Money, Less Traffic?

Aug. 26, 2016
By Mark Sauer, Pat Finn

An officer's deposition reveals a surprising outcome in the 2015 shooting of Fridoon Nehad. The Chargers defend their stadium plan. And does more funding mean less traffic?

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Roundtable: The Trump Effect, Straw Donors, Border Crossing Difficulties

Aug. 19, 2016
By Mark Sauer, Pat Finn

The presidential race continues to make headlines. Turns out, there were quite a number of straw donors to the Dumanis mayoral campaign. And American wives are being denied SENTRI passes when their husbands are deported to Mexico.

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Latest 'One Book, One San Diego' Selection Revealed

Aug. 15, 2016
By Mark Sauer, Michael Lipkin

Inspired by the the "custody battle" over Cuban student Elián González, the 2003 memoir by a Yale University professor traces the author's own experiences growing up in Castro's Cuba.

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Roundtable: San Diego Election News; Not Much Middle-Class Housing; Suing Hillary Clinton

Aug. 12, 2016
By Mark Sauer, Pat Finn

San Diego's District 1 City Council race is surprisingly settled when the Republican withdraws. New homes in the county are built for those with above-average incomes. A San Diegan sues Hillary Clinton in federal court.

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Roundtable: Azano Campaign Finance Trial, Ignored Transparency Law, Otay Mesa RV Park

Aug. 5, 2016
By Mark Sauer, Pat Finn

Some surprising names surface in federal trial of José Susumo Azano Matsura. For 24 years, San Diego leaders have ignored a law requiring the names of everyone doing business with the city. And a San Diego planning official operates an RV park without permits, electricity or sewer hookups.

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Roundtable: Hillary's DNC; Suing Trump University; No Tipping?

July 29, 2016
By Mark Sauer, Pat Finn

Hillary Clinton's Democratic National Convention was not like Donald Trump's Republican National Convention, for the most part. Class-action suits against Trump and his university will go to trial. A local restaurateur has had enough of tipping.

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Roundtable: Trump's Unconventional Convention; Missing, Mangled Waterfront Plans

July 22, 2016
By Mark Sauer, Pat Finn

Donald Trump's Republican National Convention was, in a word, unusual. The Port of San Diego wants to redevelop the waterfront without an outdated master plan. And its North Embarcadero Visionary Plan was rendered moot by developers.

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Roundtable: Rep. Peters' Campaign Donations, SDPD Curfew Sweeps, Poway's Fired Superintendent

July 15, 2016
By Mark Sauer, Pat Finn

Rep. Scott Peters and others have found a legal way around campaign contribution limits. San Diego police still enforce curfews. And the district's list of reasons for firing Poway Unified Superintendent John Collins is pretty long.

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Roundtable: Dallas Police Attack, Homelessness In San Diego And Balboa Park

July 8, 2016
By Mark Sauer, Pat Finn

A sniper attack in Dallas left five police officers dead. San Diego's homelessness problem took a turn for the worse. Balboa Park and Seaport Village may be about to get makeovers.

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Roundtable: Tackling Meth, Transportation And Chargers Stadium

July 1, 2016
By Mark Sauer, Pat Finn

Every large metropolitan area has large problems. Three of San Diego's: methamphetamine, transportation, and the proposed new Chargers stadium.

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Roundtable: Downtown Rocks, Poway School Problems, One Paseo's Second Chance

June 24, 2016
By Mark Sauer, Pat Finn

Turns out, the residents of Sherman Heights didn't request those jagged rocks after all. Poway Unified has placed its superintendent on leave and is looking for a new one. And One Paseo gets a second chance.

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New Biography Chronicles The Life Of U.S. Sen. George McGovern

June 21, 2016
By Mark Sauer, Pat Finn

“The Rise of a Prairie: The Life and Times of George McGovern” is the first volume of a major biography by author Thomas J. Knock on the 1972 Democratic presidential candidate and America's leading anti-war critic during the Vietnam War.

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Roundtable: San Diego's Response To Orlando Shooting

June 17, 2016
By Mark Sauer, Pat Finn

Thousands of San Diegans were drawn to vigils in Hillcrest on Sunday and Monday to honor and mourn those killed in Orlando, Florida.

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Roundtable: The California Primary In Perspective

June 10, 2016
By Mark Sauer, Pat Finn

We've dug ourselves out from the blizzard of mailers, yard signs and TV commercials so we can focus on what the California primary means for the presidential race and — in San Diego — for the mayoral, city attorney and City Council contests.

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Roundtable Is Off To The Races: Trump Vs. Clinton, City Attorney, City Council, Prop. H

June 3, 2016
By Mark Sauer, Pat Finn

The June 7 primary looms, so the Roundtable casts an eye on Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, the five San Diego city attorney candidates, the multiple San Diego council contests, and the proposition that's supposed to fix San Diego roads.

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Roundtable: Tony Gwynn Tobacco Lawsuit, Maintaining The Border, Future Of Del Mar Fairgrounds

May 27, 2016
By Mark Sauer, Neiko Will

Ban "dip" from baseball? Tony Gwynn's family hopes their lawsuit will help make that happen. The San Diego border fence as a test case for Donald Trump's "build a wall" campaign promise. And the upside and downside to living where the surf meets the turf.

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Roundtable: VA Choice Problems, Hotel Boycott, UCSD Funding Struggle

May 20, 2016
By Mark Sauer, Pat Finn

The Veterans Choice program for alleviating a doctor visit backlog doesn't turn out well. Chargers fan groups launches a boycott of some area hotels. UC San Diego is having a harder time than similar universities raising major funds.

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Roundtable: Duncan Hunter's Expenses, US Senate Debate, San Onofre Deal Reopened

May 13, 2016
By Mark Sauer, Pat Finn

Rep. Duncan Hunter's campaign paid thousands for questionable expenses. Candidates were in attack mode in the U.S. Senate debate on KPBS this week. After 18 months of criticism, state regulators reopened the San Onofre settlement.

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Roundtable: SANDAG Tax Measure, Race For Mayor, City Council And Supervisor

May 6, 2016
By Mark Sauer, Pat Finn

It's Election Central on the Roundtable as we delve into the SANDAG transit tax measure, update the San Diego Mayor and City Council District 1 races, and look closely at the contest for Dave Roberts' county supervisor seat.

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Doctor Who Treated Chargers Linebacker Junior Seau May Lose License

May 6, 2016
By Mark Sauer, Pat Finn

The California Medical Board has charged David Chao, a former physician to the Chargers who treated linebacker Junior Seau, with negligence in the athlete's death.

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What Does Gannett Want With Tribune Publishing?

April 29, 2016
By Mark Sauer, Pat Finn

The media company that owns USA Today offered $815 million for Tribune Publishing, whose newspapers include The San Diego Union-Tribune.

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Roundtable: California Politics, Criminal Probe Limits, Rocks For The Homeless

April 29, 2016
By Mark Sauer, Pat Finn

The election season in California has proved both unusual and predictable. The deadline passes for a probe on a secret San Onofre deal. Rocks installed to deter homeless people from camping out outrage advocates.

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San Diego Transgender Teen's Happy Outcome

April 22, 2016
By Mark Sauer, Pat Finn

The stories of teenagers feeling trapped inside bodies that are not theirs often have unhappy endings. But the case of San Diego's Sam Moehlig is different.

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Roundtable: Kamala Harris And San Onofre, Unenforceable Traffic Tickets, Labor's Richard Barrera

April 22, 2016
By Mark Sauer, Pat Finn

Is Kamala Harris' heart into investigating the California Public Utilities Commission? Your San Diego speeding ticket may be unenforceable. And Richard Barrera sees no conflict with being a labor leader and school board member.

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Roundtable: City Budget, Goldsmith Vs. Briggs, SANDAG And The Media

April 15, 2016
By Mark Sauer, Pat Finn

Faulconer releases a budget heavy on infrastructure. City Attorney Jan Goldsmith and San Diegans for Open Government Attorney Cory Briggs each say the other is full of hot air. SANDAG spent a lot of money trying to influence the media.

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How Jerry Brown Saved The Great State Of California

April 15, 2016
By Mark Sauer, Pat Finn

Jerry Brown was on the cover of Newsweek in 1979, the first year of his first second term as governor of California. He's on the magazine's cover again, the star of a story about how he saved the state from ruin.